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Dissecting Actress Angela Bettis

Mar. 5, 2013by: Ammon Gilbert
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Angela Bettis

Buy CARRIE here!

There are plenty of unique-looking dude actors out there who have thrived in the horror genre, as male horror stars dont have to be supermodels. But females in the genre? Thats another story. They have to be smokin hot Scream Queens with big hooters and a killer set of lungs. Which is why actress Angela Bettis is all the more awesome as she doesnt fit the status quo of horror starletsshes cute yet mysteriously odd looking, she has the acting (and directing!) skills to pay the bills, and her contributions to the genre are always memorable and somehow, with every project, she injects her own level of class that most Scream Queens can only aspire to do. So with that, lets take a deep dive into the career of Angela Bettis!

BEST WORK

Buy THE WOMAN here!

Bettis has starred in a number of excellent projectsand for good reason: she as the tendency to team up with director Lucky McKee, and that guy rarely makes a bad movie. Her most renowned role goes to MAY, where she plays a disturbed anti-hero thats both scary and vulnerable, and its the role that really set her on the horror map. Shes gone on to other gems since then, with RED but none have been as impactful as MAY. Except maybe McKees THE WOMAN, which may be one of the most unsettling movies ever, partly due to Bettis role as the mother who chooses to overlook the monster side of her husband until its too late. Absolutely fantastic role, and such a brutal movie to sit through.

WORST WORK

Buy SCAR here!

As with any great contributor to the genre, Bettis has her share of stinkers, though not for lack of trying on her part. Theres WICKED LAKE, which features boobs (not hers) and Lesbos but offers little else to write home about. SCAR is just an unsettling little movie that had the potential to be a lot of fun and ended up just being boring and depressing. And while Im sure she thought she was taking the role of a lifetime, the decision to play Carrie White in the TV version of CARRIE may not have been the wisest choice as the project was doomed from the start. She channels her best Sissy Spacek, but a made for TV series on the classic Stephen King wasnt the way to go hence while were getting yet another remake of the book (but this time, for the big screen).

TRADEMARKS

Buy MAY here!

Bettis tends to take on the roles of vulnerable yet strong women, women who appear to be victims and take mounds of abuse but are actually more versatile and tough than most people give them credit for. Shes soft-spoken for the most part, but can belt a good yelling match / scream session with the best of them, and while she appears to be as fragile as a twigshes the one that will likely break you in half if given the opportunity. Its the tiny factor that sets her apart visually, as theres something about how skinny she is that is unsettling and a titch creepy. I wont say shes as creepy as PET SEMETARYs Zelda, but shes up there. And thats why the genre loves and embraces hera talented actress with a unique look that fits the horror genre.

HIDDEN GEM

Buy MASTER OF HORROR: SICK GIRL here!

She has a few hidden gems, the first being one wheres shes not actually on screen at all but rather as a directorROMAN. A little flick that actually stars long-time collaborator Lucky McKee in the lead role of a reverse obsessed-type situation with the girl next door. Its a decent movie, and for a first-time directorial effort by Bettis, its a goddamn achievement (and its streaming on Netflix). On screen, her role in McKees MASTER OF HORROR entry SICK GIRL is pretty goddamn awesome. In it, she plays the type of role she usually plays: quiet, mousy, and not an ounce of innocence underneath that demure manner. Its short (50 minutes-ish) and to the point, but packs quite the unsettling punch so be sure to check this one out.

NEXT PROJECT

See THE ABCS OF DEATH here!

A new movie is now in limited theaters right now as well as the usual VOD outlets. Its called THE ABCs OF DEATH, where 26 directors got together and made 26 short movies for each of the letters of the alphabet in one thrilling horror-laced ride after another. Bettis doesnt star in one of these entries but is actually sitting in the directors chair for E is for Exterminate. She joins the likes of directors Ben Wheatley and Ti West (among many, many others) and from all accounts, Ive heard some of the entries are really awesome, and some maybe not so much. Which one does Bettis fall into? Youll have to check it out in theaters or on VOD to find out!

OVERALL

Buy WICKED LAKE here!

When director Lucky McKee needs a leading lady, one that can handle the drama, the friction, the tension, and whatever messed up thing he has to throw at them, he knows to call Angela Bettis. While shes not a cookie-cutter Scream Queen as we know it, she is one of the bigger leading ladies of the genre. Maybe its her unsettling features that makes her so compelling to watch in a horror flick (she is, after all, a little creepy looking when in the right role)whatever the reason, shes made a name for herself in horror and we can only hope she sticks around for a while longer, whether thats on the big screen or behind the camera. This chick can do it all!

Extra Tidbit: What is your favorite Angela Bettis movie?

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8:04AM on 03/05/2013
ET: As you note, The Woman is one of Bettis's best performances. She manages to actually get fully into some very bizarre material. Furthermore, we all women who deny the monstrous sides of their men, and Bettis brings such a woman to life realistically in The Woman.
ET: As you note, The Woman is one of Bettis's best performances. She manages to actually get fully into some very bizarre material. Furthermore, we all women who deny the monstrous sides of their men, and Bettis brings such a woman to life realistically in The Woman.
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12:07PM on 03/05/2013

Bettis' "Carrie"...

Did you actually watch the film?
The musical aside, this is, in my opinion, the best rendition of the story yet (the new film may change that).
De Palma's is a classic, yes, but it has not aged well and is comically over the top when watched now. Specifically Spacek and Laurie's performances, which work in the context of the film, but are otherwise broad and even excessive when looked at objectively. The 2002 film was more subtle, adapted the text much more faithfully (ending aside), and
Did you actually watch the film?
The musical aside, this is, in my opinion, the best rendition of the story yet (the new film may change that).
De Palma's is a classic, yes, but it has not aged well and is comically over the top when watched now. Specifically Spacek and Laurie's performances, which work in the context of the film, but are otherwise broad and even excessive when looked at objectively. The 2002 film was more subtle, adapted the text much more faithfully (ending aside), and featured far superior performances from Angela Bettis and Patricia Clarkson, who channeled Carrie and Margaret beautifully and believably.
The remake gets WAY too much flack that's not at all deserved, and De Palma's film is remembered more fondly just because.
All that aside, Bettis is a top-flight actress whom I'll watch in anything. "May" is one of my favorite films of all time; "Sick Girl" is an exceptional flick, and "the Woman" is grotesque, innovative, brave, and bold, and a must-see.
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2:50PM on 03/05/2013
I was bamboozled into buying the CARRIE made for TV version cause, like a moron, I thought I was buying the DePalma one on DVD for 2.99... That aside, not a big fan of this version. I like the book, I like DePalma, this one rubbed me the wrong way. Glad you were able to find some redeeming qualities to it, though.
I was bamboozled into buying the CARRIE made for TV version cause, like a moron, I thought I was buying the DePalma one on DVD for 2.99... That aside, not a big fan of this version. I like the book, I like DePalma, this one rubbed me the wrong way. Glad you were able to find some redeeming qualities to it, though.
4:28PM on 03/05/2013
One of my favorite actresses, I love her in everything she's done. If you're a fan you might want to check out THE CIRCLE which is not exactly a horror film but it is a very unique and eerie thriller and it is actually shot all in one take without any cuts (unlike Hitchcock's ROPE and SILENT HOUSE which sneaked some cuts in here and there). By the way, not trying to be a know-it-all, but she actually wasn't in RED. She was fired along with Lucky McKee and replaced by Kim Dickens. Still a
One of my favorite actresses, I love her in everything she's done. If you're a fan you might want to check out THE CIRCLE which is not exactly a horror film but it is a very unique and eerie thriller and it is actually shot all in one take without any cuts (unlike Hitchcock's ROPE and SILENT HOUSE which sneaked some cuts in here and there). By the way, not trying to be a know-it-all, but she actually wasn't in RED. She was fired along with Lucky McKee and replaced by Kim Dickens. Still a great film, but I do wonder if it would have been better if McKee and Bettis weren't replaced. Overall, great article on a great actress! And to answer the question... my favorite is MAY.
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10:24PM on 03/05/2013
Big fan of hers,watch May all the time.
Big fan of hers,watch May all the time.
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